A hobo (hand-line) fishing kit

First, a little news. Due to the rush and craziness involved in getting from the cabin to our old house (to clean it before moving) to our new home last holiday weekend, we left our camera behind at the cabin. This is why I haven’t made a post about Juhannus weekend. Luckily, my wife’s parents will drive down in about a week to stay for a few days and they will bring the camera. Once I have those pics, I’ll be sure to show and tell you about the fun we had!


As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make a hobo fishing kit”…or something like that. During the holiday weekend, I got a lot of good use out of my telescoping pole rig. Unfortunately, a section of the pole ended up cracking, rendering it unusable. I guess I will spend a little more money next time to get a better-quality pole. Anyway, I wanted to continue fishing, so this gear failure presented a good opportunity to make an improvised hobo or hand-line fishing rig. I ended up easily catching three small perch using just a short, fat stick wound with fishing line, a hook, a sinker and a worm. It was very rough, but it did the trick.

Fast-forward to this weekend. Having finally gotten far enough along in settling in to our new home that I could spend a few hours on “non-essential” stuff, I decided it was time to christen my new office/workshop with its first project. Over the course of the week, I had been contemplating how I wanted to make my new hobo fishing kit, as there are a number of different styles. Then it dawned on me: I could use parts from my telescoping rod to make a hand-line fishing kit! This not only solved my problem of deciding what type of spool to make, but also reduced waste by reusing existing materials.

Here’s what the (collapsed) rod originally looked like:

To make the new kit, I removed the telescoping sections from inside the handle section and then cut down the handle section to about 20 cm/8 inches with a multitool saw. This was followed by filing the cut edge smooth and even with a metal file. The next step was to reduce the size of the rubber plug in the front end to prevent the line from hanging up on it while casting. I used my BushProwler knife and a multitool file for this job. Then I roughly measured about 20 meters/yards of 10 lb. test mono-filament fishing line, attached it to the tube, and then attached a hook and sinker to the other end of the line. The line was wound around the front end of the tube, and the hook is hooked over the end of the tube and held nicely in place by the rubber plug. Here’s the completed rig:

The inside of the tube is a perfect place for extra line, hooks, sinkers and bobbers.

This package is very compact and is protected nicely by the rod cover I had been using for the telescoping pole. The whole thing easily fits inside my shoulder bag, whereas the telescoping pole setup did not.

To make sure that this rig would function properly, I test-cast it about 10 times in the hallway, and it worked flawlessly. Now all that’s left to do is to catch some fish with it!

Special thanks go out to the Woodswife for the use of her phone to take these pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

EDIT: Although I could use this setup with lures as well, I will probably only use it for fishing with live bait etc. so as to comply with Finland’s “Everyman’s Right” regarding free-of-charge angling.


14 comments on “A hobo (hand-line) fishing kit

  1. Corey says:

    Awesome! Hobo handlines are one of my favorite ways to fish. For streams, that’s what I use exclusively. I suspect you’ll love it!

  2. The Reel McCoy says:

    Dave Canterbury at Wilderness outfitters…has a variation using a pvc tube and others have used an used protien drink container from Walmart…just look on youtube…good recycling

  3. OZme says:

    That looks real nice. good idea to use the broken fishing rod, those are strong enough and light weight and looks like fishing rod ๐Ÿ™‚
    look forward to see you catch some fish.

  4. Duncan says:

    That’s a pretty sweet hobo kit! Seems like that would be a fun way to do some fishing as well as the perfect addition to someone’s “bug-out-bag.” I’ll have to try it out sometime.

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